30.09.2004 General News

Nurses at Cape Coast nurses still at post

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Cape Coast, Sept. 30, GNA- All the 96 nurses currently at post at the Central Regional Hospital in Cape Coast, are working and are not participating in the strike action embarked upon by their counterparts in some hospitals in the country, over disparities in the payment of Additional Duty Hour Allowance (ADHA).

When the Ghana News Agency visited the Hospital on Thursday morning, it found nurses busily going about their duties at the hospital, which is the only public health institution, where nurses care for patients without assistance from their relatives.

The Hospital Administrator, Dr Darius Osei Kofi, told the GNA that initially, nurses in the region were "poorly catered for" in the payment of the ADHA, as compared to their colleagues in other regions, but this was rectified through persistent appeals.

He said his outfit, had also decentralised the management of the ADHA, with the setting up of a five-member committee, made up of a representatives each, of all the health personnel including doctors, which met every month, to streamline the disbursement of the allowance. Dr Osei Kofi said this had brought about transparency in the management of the allowance, "leaving everybody satisfied with its distribution".

He commended the nurses for their hard work and dedication to duty, adding that since the 17 Cuban and two Egyptian doctors, who were attached to the hospital left about a month ago, the nurses and the 11 local doctors, had been working extra hard to keep the hospital going.

"They have averted, what would have been a disaster, since the doctors left en-block" he said, and disclosed that the hospital administration had instituted a monthly award scheme, to motivate them. On the adequate number of medical personnel for the hospital, Dr Osei Kofi said since it was a referral hospital, about 25 doctors including specialists and 250 nurses, were needed to keep it running smoothly.

Dr Osei Kofi said the Hospital had seen a lot of improvement in infrastructure and human relations, and that it has been computerised and networked to check pilfering.

At the Cape Coast District Hospital, the GNA found that the nurses were only on duty at the emergency and Outpatients' Department (OPD). When contacted, the Deputy Director of Nursing Services, Ms Mary Assan, gave the assurance that the "situation would improve in the wards, later in the day.

She, however, appealed to the government, to increase the duty hours to from 150 hours to 170, with regard to the payment of the ADHA, as nurses currently at post in the country, had to work extra hard to make up for the large number of nurses, who have left the country "to seek greener pastures."

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